Virginia mall will ban teens

February 16, 1994|By Newport News Daily Press

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. -- Teen-agers accustomed to spending Friday and Saturday nights roaming Patrick Henry Mall will have to find a new place to hang out beginning this weekend.

Mall Manager Roger Brown, saying he was fed up with foul language, rowdy behavior and lack of respect from some teens, is banning unaccompanied teen-agers under 18 from most of the mall's public areas and food court after 6 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights.

"In the last few weeks I've seen the potential for losing control," Mr. Brown said yesterday. "I just can't tolerate it any longer."

Managers of other area malls said they do not plan to follow suit.

Patrick Henry security guards will be stopping youths to demand proof of age and will order out anyone who cannot prove he is at least 18.

Teen-agers may still shop in the mall's anchor stores -- Leggett, Upton's and Proffitt's -- which have their own entrances. They may also see movies at the mall theaters and play video games in the mall's game room, Mr. Brown said.

But if they enter the common areas of the mall to reach other stores they will be escorted off the property or told to call their parents for a ride home.

The ban doesn't apply to teen-agers accompanied by a parent or guardian.

The Patrick Henry staff is faxing memos to principals of area high schools today informing them of the new rules, Mr. Brown said.

He said he hoped he could lift the ban once teens realized that rowdy behavior would not be tolerated at the mall. "I don't want to see it continue indefinitely," he said.

Some mall retailers supported the idea.

"I don't know if it would hurt business too much," said Steve Richmond, a salesman at Mother's, a music store. "Not a lot of them buy a lot of things. They just hang out."

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